Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Viet Nam Revisted ??

When Kim Ode wrote this column back in 2002, my gut told me she was right,
and it has stayed in my thoughts.
I had hoped that by now our kids would be coming home, but now hearing that President Obama plans on giving into the Generals and sending more troops.
I am again trembling along with Kim whose 9 year old son is now in college.
If this war is to continue then we need to reinstate the draft, and we need a war tax to pay for it.

I sent her an e-mail and asked her to send me the article here it is unedited.
I hope she doesn't mind!

Headline: The thought of going to war, and the trembling begins
Date: 10/20/02
Byline: Kim Ode; Staff Writer

It's been one of those weeks, a distracting week when I couldn't

seem to hold a thought any longer than my sneezes. The chill I feel

is not from the weather, but from a growing heat. I can't shake the

feeling that we're sliding into war with little idea of how we will

climb back out.

I can't shake the voices of the veterans who write their letters

to the editor and call the radio talk shows. They want to make sure

we're clear about what going to war really means and how hard it is

to shake the memory of slaughter and chaos and the stark fright of


I can't shake the gutsy futility of the people who ask that those

in Congress who voted to support making war be so kind as to tell

us in which branch of the armed forces their children and

grandchildren have enlisted. I would grant to President Bush a

wholehearted credibility that so far has been wavering if his

daughters were to walk into their local recruiting office.

I can't shake how strangely grateful I am that weaponry has

become so efficient that, by most projections, a war would be over

with ruthless rapidity, making the prospect of my ninth-grade son

eventually being called to fight seem slim - although mothers in

the Vietnam era might have thought the same thing.

I can't shake the suspicion that all the networks long ago signed

off on plans to get their news anchors on-site as soon as possible

to provide the most dramatic backdrop.

I can't shake a sense of trepidation about going to war against

people who use donated blood to paint election posters for Saddam

Hussein and who use their own blood to mark their ballots.

I can't shake the thought that there's a family of four in a

Baghdad suburb listening to the latest news reports and feeling

both frightened and outraged that a nation possessing weapons of

mass destruction is threatening a first strike against them.

I can't shake the sense that the administration will be caught

flat-footed by how quickly the "Hoo-ya!" mood of this country will

shift against it once they start offloading coffins onto the tarmac.

I can't shake my awe at the audacity of the serial sniper for

presuming to grab headlines with his weapon of singular destruction

while we're contemplating global war.

I can't shake the certainty of the bloodlust I'd feel if any harm

came to my family because of a foreign attack, nor the bitterness I

would harbor if my country provoked it.

I can't shake my fear that Saddam Hussein is a nut case, nor my

fear that we're playing into his hands.

I can't shake the weird optimism of ordering magazine

subscriptions for the school fundraiser, nor the prospect that even

in war, because we are the United States, that I might still make

use of Fine Cooking.

I can't shake the disappointment of knowing that some may label

me unpatriotic for these views at the same time they purport to

uphold the ideals of this country's freedoms.

I can't shake the sense that I need to be ready for something.

I'm not sure what that's going to mean. But it's causing me to

tremble, tremble, tremble.


- Kim Ode's columns run Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Write

to her at kimode@startribune.com, or 425 Portland Av. S.,

Minneapolis MN 55488. For past columns, go to



Anonymous said...

I don't know. I think if we concentrate on Pakistan side of the house, there might be a chance that we won't end up being back there in 20 years or having their folks attack our soil. I see both sides of the argument on this.

Riot Kitty said...

I agree with SBBTC.

Green tea said...

Because of my age I remember 1968 way to well.
The anger in the streets because of the Viet Nam war.
It was because of that and Bobby Kennedy that I became involved.
I am afraid he is trying to appease everyone and will lose in the end.
God I hope I am wrong !!!


rush limbaugh thinks it's a good idea..what does that tell you?

alan said...

Those of us who thought knew, back when suddenly we were going to attack Iraq instead of finishing what we had started in Afghanistan, that somewhere down the road a price would have to be paid. What could have been dealt with by now had we not turned our head instead looms large in all our futures and I'm not sure any of us are seeing more than the tip of the iceburg.

Meanwhile, the new training camps in Somalia go untouched; pirates plunder our merchant ships at will...

And I too, fear for my 10 year old and 6 year old grandsons.

(Sent you an e-mail last week, but don't know if it found you...?)